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(AOL)   Englishman wakes up from a stroke only able to speak fluent Welsh, a language he barely knew before. Well at least they THINK it's Welsh, it could be he's just still having the stroke, it's kinda hard to tell   (main.aol.com) divider line 87
    More: Interesting, Englishman, stroke  
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5820 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Jan 2013 at 3:22 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
 
2013-01-02 03:23:48 PM  
A classic case of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyll-llantysiliogogogoch syndrome.
 
2013-01-02 03:24:11 PM  
Whale oil beef hooked
 
2013-01-02 03:26:25 PM  
I'd like to wake up from a stroke. ifyouknowhatimean.
 
2013-01-02 03:26:54 PM  
How do you think all the Welsh people got to speaking Welsh?
 
2013-01-02 03:27:47 PM  

olapbill: I'd like to wake up from a stroke. ifyouknowhatimean.


Well, uh, usually I inject a thing to, uh, paralyze you... but I forgot this time.
 
2013-01-02 03:27:56 PM  
25.media.tumblr.com
/eh
//s'what they sound like to me
 
2013-01-02 03:28:15 PM  
Does he use LLots of LL's in his LLanguage?
 
2013-01-02 03:28:23 PM  
I thought that was how golf was invented.
 
2013-01-02 03:28:59 PM  
British English : Welsh :: American English : Jive
 
2013-01-02 03:29:03 PM  
Could've been worse.
palinidle.topcities.com
/mr. llewellyn?
 
2013-01-02 03:29:11 PM  
No, he didn't suddenly gain the ability to speak Welsh. If he can speak it now, he knew it before his injury.
 
2013-01-02 03:29:14 PM  
Thought this was going to be another one of those phoney "demonstrates fluency in a language the speaker had never heard/learned/spoke/been exposed to before" stories. As it is it's hardly news. I took two years of Russian but now can only remember a handful of words. Still, I'll occasionally have a dream where I am speaking it or at least perceive that I am speaking it fluently
 
2013-01-02 03:30:39 PM  
Will he ever be able to play the violin? Did he shoot a lion in his pajamas?
 
2013-01-02 03:36:25 PM  
TheOther

Will he ever be able to play the violin? Did he shoot a lion in his pajamas?

What was a lion doing in his pajamas?
 
mhd
2013-01-02 03:40:48 PM  
Men of England stop your strokin'...
 
2013-01-02 03:41:05 PM  

Helena Handbasket: No, he didn't suddenly gain the ability to speak Welsh. If he can speak it now, he knew it before his injury.


In addition, his wife speaks it fluently. You don't think that kinda thing gets stored in ye olde memory banks?

The coolest part of this is the fact that a stroke unlocked portions of his memory that he didn't even know he knew. That's kinda cool. If they could only figure out what and how it happened and maybe they can find a treatment to reverse the bad effects of a stroke.
 
2013-01-02 03:41:46 PM  
Make a bet with him that he's sure to lose. If he refuses to pay up, then it's Welsh.

/Welsh-American. Probably. Poor people don't go in for the geneaology so much.
 
2013-01-02 03:43:04 PM  
As far as I can tell from the article, the only one who thinks he was speaking Welsh was himself. I'd really like to see a corroboration from somebody else. Like, say, a native Welsh speaker.

As it is, it sounds a lot like Foreign Accent Syndrome:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_accent_syndrome

which is when stroke patients find that their speech production is impaired in a way that sounds like a foreign accent. Usually, it only sounds like that accent to non-speakers, but it's not actually that accent.
 
2013-01-02 03:44:59 PM  
I speak fluent Welsh after a few dozen gin and tonics.
 
2013-01-02 03:46:47 PM  

tennyson: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_accent_syndrome

which is when stroke patients find that their speech production is impaired in a way that sounds like a foreign accent. Usually, it only sounds like that accent to non-speakers, but it's not actually that accent.


So it turns you into a gorilla?
 
2013-01-02 03:48:21 PM  

Hack Patooey: Whale oil beef hooked


That sounds Newfie.
 
2013-01-02 03:49:40 PM  
Somebody call for Welshmen?

funnydoom.com
 
2013-01-02 03:53:42 PM  
I believe Welsh Bashing is a popular sport in England. Let's sit back and watch, shall we? The English could teach us a thing or two about condescending bigotry. One is never too old to learn.
 
2013-01-02 03:55:55 PM  
So he can make tasty juice now?
 
2013-01-02 03:57:19 PM  
My mom spoke what sounded like German for a few hours when she was in hospice, on Fentanyl. It was pretty bizarre. If she could speak it before, it was something we never knew. Probably just the drugs talking but it freaked us out.
 
2013-01-02 03:57:46 PM  

red5ish: I believe Welsh Bashing is a popular sport in England. Let's sit back and watch, shall we? The English could teach us a thing or two about condescending bigotry. One is never too old to learn.


"What Terry (Jones) cannot accept is that the Welsh are a servile nation whom God put on the planet to carry out menial tasks for the English."
-- John Cleese
 
2013-01-02 03:59:33 PM  
Probably just possessed by an Old One. Common mistake.
 
2013-01-02 04:00:47 PM  

mbillips: Make a bet with him that he's sure to lose. If he refuses to pay up, then it's Welsh.

/Welsh-American. Probably. Poor people don't go in for the geneaology so much.


That's because people who study genies become wealthy.

www.jenn98.com
 
2013-01-02 04:02:18 PM  

mbillips: red5ish: I believe Welsh Bashing is a popular sport in England. Let's sit back and watch, shall we? The English could teach us a thing or two about condescending bigotry. One is never too old to learn.

"What Terry (Jones) cannot accept is that the Welsh are a servile nation whom God put on the planet to carry out menial tasks for the English."
-- John Cleese


Paging Catherine Zeta-Jones to my bunk

/I'm not English
//DAMN the Revolutionary WAR!!!
 
2013-01-02 04:05:32 PM  
When a Mexican or Chinese guy or something starts speaking fluent Welsh, then I'll click the link
 
2013-01-02 04:06:38 PM  

Day_Old_Dutchie: Does he use LLots of LL's in his LLanguage?


Never play scrabble with a welshman...

farm3.staticflickr.com
 
2013-01-02 04:06:46 PM  

Evil High Priest: Probably just possessed by an Old One. Common mistake.


One of these, I suspect:

4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-01-02 04:09:40 PM  
Dwi wedi meddwi'n chwil.
 
2013-01-02 04:13:01 PM  
One does not merely speak Welsh...

i.imgflip.com

...and...

4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-01-02 04:17:29 PM  
25.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-01-02 04:18:31 PM  
I had to stop reading that article after the first three words of the headline: "Alun Morgan, Englishman...." "Alun" is one of the most common first names in Wales, "Morgan" is one of the four or five last names almost all Welshmen seem to have (after Jones, Thomas, Edwards, and Price). "Alun Morgan, Englishman" is like saying "Tetsuo Fuji, Korean."
 
2013-01-02 04:25:48 PM  

theurge14: I thought that was how golf was invented.


No, they chose "golf" because "shiat" was already in use.
 
2013-01-02 04:30:22 PM  
There's a syndrome called Foreign Language Syndrome in which a person who suffers a stroke begins to talk in a "foreign accent". In reality, they don't really acquire a foreign accent. They just do an accent that sounds foreign and which the imagination of auditors matches with a similar foreign accent that is more or less familiar to them.

This is something slightly different. When you lose important language centres associated with speaking your native tongue, other areas of the brain where foreign lanaguages have been imprinted may be spared. The brain turns first to these and then tries to rebuild and repair the damaged brain tissue and memories.

He knew some Welsh from a two-month sejourn in that country, and his wife spoke Welsh which means he probably was exposed to Welsh frequently when she spoke to friends or family. This immersion in the Welsh language could give him a fairly thorough unconscious education in the basics of Welsh grammar (we tend to learn grammar "unconsciously" more than vocabulary, which is a more conscious and deliberate acquisition) and some Welsh vocabulary and semantics.

It would be interesting to know exactly how well he speaks Welsh. If he speaks it much better than he ever could, the brain must have switched on learning he did unconsciously as well as disinhibiting barriers to speaking with the proper accent, rhythm, etc. I know from learning French that I can in theory speak French much better than I do. There is a sort of inhibition, like stage fright, which prevents learners of a second or third language from really letting go of the habits of their first language. For example, it is probably harder for a person from a very cool, unemotional background (class, culture, language) to speak a more emotive and expressive language than vice-versa.

It fits well into many modern theories of how language is acquired (notably the work of Noam Chomsky) that a person who "unconsciously" learned a language from reasonably long exposure would have the basics of grammar, pronunciation and so forth waiting to be integrated and disinhibited by the loss of the primary language.

With his ability to speak English, he lost much of the machinery of embarassment and inhibition that prevented him from speaking better Welsh in the first place, and gained some new connections in his brain that strengthened the imprints of his linguistic knowledge, unused but not forgotten.

As for Englishmen being turned into Scotsman, it doesn't take much. A kilt and a few glasses of Scotch will do in most cases. If you could find a drug that wipes out prejudice, it could have the effect of releasing the inner Scotsman in many wavers of the flag of Saint George. Oxytocin is a possible candidate. My guess is that you would learn a foreign language more easily while drugged up like Rush Limbaugh. Perhaps this is why it is common for people to learn a foreign language when they are in love with a native speaker.

Some people seem to have a foreign language phobia (independent from chauvinism) and anything which reduces anxiety, fear and conservativism might increase language-speaking and learning abilities temporarily.

Some multi-lingual persons tell me that they forget words in their native language while speaking other languages frequently. Perhaps this fellow may have a slightly harder time remembering English words because of his Welsh, but that is not certain. Perhaps having the ability to talk with his wife and others while recovering from the stroke may make his life easier and more comfortable while he re-acquires what he has lost.

In any case, it pays to learn other languages. If nothing else, you have a backup in case of stroke, while you may also benefit from a broader and deeper understanding of semantics, grammar, etc.
 
2013-01-02 04:31:04 PM  
Early HotY candidate? Speaking of Hotty...

Jackpot777: [25.media.tumblr.com image 345x266]


I'd make her go LLarngnwlmannnnrllllgwlwlgmdwsyth...
 
2013-01-02 04:37:31 PM  
newsimg.bbc.co.uk
 
2013-01-02 04:38:18 PM  
themovielists.files.wordpress.com

Has something to say about that.
 
2013-01-02 04:44:07 PM  
My ex-wife woke up one morning, and couldn't cook worth a damn.
 
2013-01-02 04:44:34 PM  
Eric Go Braless.
 
2013-01-02 04:47:27 PM  

Ivo Shandor: [newsimg.bbc.co.uk image 416x300]


Classic
 
2013-01-02 04:49:36 PM  

Matthew Keene: My ex-wife woke up one morning, and couldn't cook worth a damn.


lol
 
2013-01-02 04:56:40 PM  

Jackpot777: [25.media.tumblr.com image 345x266]


Please have her brought to my hidden underground base.
 
2013-01-02 04:59:54 PM  

Ivo Shandor: [newsimg.bbc.co.uk image 416x300]


I'll come back when you return then, boyo.
 
2013-01-02 05:01:58 PM  

ThatGuyFromTheInternet: Early HotY candidate? Speaking of Hotty...

Jackpot777: [25.media.tumblr.com image 345x266]

I'd make her go LLarngnwlmannnnrllllgwlwlgmdwsyth...


I would let her Torch my wood, if you know what I mean.

images3.wikia.nocookie.net

I mean touch my penis.
 
2013-01-02 05:02:09 PM  
i.imgur.com
 
2013-01-02 05:03:05 PM  

mbillips: Make a bet with him that he's sure to lose. If he refuses to pay up, then it's Welsh.

/Welsh-American. Probably. Poor people don't go in for the geneaology so much.


Welsh-Americans: People the Irish-Americans, Scottish-Americans, and English-Americans can all feel superior to together.
 
2013-01-02 05:04:36 PM  

vodka: [i.imgur.com image 441x280]


lulz
 
2013-01-02 05:09:46 PM  
What a Welshie might look like

theinfosphere.org
 
2013-01-02 05:09:51 PM  
Did he Welsh on a bet?
 
2013-01-02 05:10:53 PM  

The Third Man: I had to stop reading that article after the first three words of the headline: "Alun Morgan, Englishman...."


I hope you don't react the same way when a Diego Garcia or a Flora Hernandez identifies or is identified as an American.
 
2013-01-02 05:11:02 PM  

vodka: [i.imgur.com image 441x280]


Damnitsomuch Vodka!
 
2013-01-02 05:19:02 PM  
Peidiwch â chyffwrdd a'r peiriannau
Now sling your hooks or I'll break your face.
 
2013-01-02 05:36:34 PM  

tennyson: As far as I can tell from the article, the only one who thinks he was speaking Welsh was himself. I'd really like to see a corroboration from somebody else. Like, say, a native Welsh speaker.

As it is, it sounds a lot like Foreign Accent Syndrome:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_accent_syndrome

which is when stroke patients find that their speech production is impaired in a way that sounds like a foreign accent. Usually, it only sounds like that accent to non-speakers, but it's not actually that accent.


No, the article states his wife, a fluent speaker of Welsh, is the one who noticed. He thought he was speaking English.
 
2013-01-02 05:37:28 PM  
FTA: "He has reportedly been taking speech lessons to regain completely control over the language."

Sounds like the author of the article needs to take lessons to regain completely control over the language.
 
2013-01-02 05:44:05 PM  

Raithun: The Third Man: I had to stop reading that article after the first three words of the headline: "Alun Morgan, Englishman...."

I hope you don't react the same way when a Diego Garcia or a Flora Hernandez identifies or is identified as an American.


Welshmen I knew who'd lived in England their entire lives referred to themselves as Welshmen. As did their kids, grandkids, greatgrandkids...
 
2013-01-02 05:45:57 PM  

StrangeQ: Thought this was going to be another one of those phoney "demonstrates fluency in a language the speaker had never heard/learned/spoke/been exposed to before" stories. As it is it's hardly news. I took two years of Russian but now can only remember a handful of words. Still, I'll occasionally have a dream where I am speaking it or at least perceive that I am speaking it fluently


WhoGAS: The coolest part of this is the fact that a stroke unlocked portions of his memory that he didn't even know he knew. That's kinda cool. If they could only figure out what and how it happened and maybe they can find a treatment to reverse the bad effects of a stroke.


Several years ago I had a dream where I sang "Billie Jean" (on a ferry, for some reason that was of course perfectly logical in a dream) and had all the words down pat. I hadn't heard the song in at least ten years and when pressed could probably only manage the chorus. I can't say for sure whether they were the right words, but the people in my dream seemed to have a good time.
 
2013-01-02 05:50:50 PM  

The Third Man: Welshmen I knew who'd lived in England their entire lives referred to themselves as Welshmen. As did their kids, grandkids, greatgrandkids...


Funny that. Over here African-Americans still refer to themselves as African-Americans even after generations of living here and not knowing a single word of the language of their forbearer's languages.

/stirring the pot
 
2013-01-02 06:00:13 PM  

The Third Man: Raithun: The Third Man: I had to stop reading that article after the first three words of the headline: "Alun Morgan, Englishman...."

I hope you don't react the same way when a Diego Garcia or a Flora Hernandez identifies or is identified as an American.

Welshmen I knew who'd lived in England their entire lives referred to themselves as Welshmen. As did their kids, grandkids, greatgrandkids...


My family has been in Virginia since 1691, still consider ourselves Scottish

/not Scots, though
 
2013-01-02 06:10:32 PM  

Raithun: The Third Man: I had to stop reading that article after the first three words of the headline: "Alun Morgan, Englishman...."

I hope you don't react the same way when a Diego Garcia or a Flora Hernandez identifies or is identified as an American.


There's a difference between ethnicity and nationality. "English" is an ethnicity, "American" is a nationality. You can legally change your nationality, but your ethnicity is determined by who your ancestors were. Englishmen and Welshmen are both British citizens, but the Welsh are not English (as they'd both be quick to point out).

Likewise, if I were to move to Hungary and obtain Hunagrian citizenship, I'd gain Hungarian nationality but not Hungarian ethnicity.

/once met a guy whose wife was ethnic Russian from Azerbaijan, and a girl who was ethnic Chinese from Vietnam
 
2013-01-02 06:18:48 PM  

Stone Meadow: The Third Man: Welshmen I knew who'd lived in England their entire lives referred to themselves as Welshmen. As did their kids, grandkids, greatgrandkids...

Funny that. Over here African-Americans still refer to themselves as African-Americans even after generations of living here and not knowing a single word of the language of their forbearer's languages.

/stirring the pot


Don't forget there are more Irish currently born and raised in America than live in Ireland
 
2013-01-02 06:48:36 PM  

freewill: mbillips: Make a bet with him that he's sure to lose. If he refuses to pay up, then it's Welsh.

/Welsh-American. Probably. Poor people don't go in for the geneaology so much.

Welsh-Americans: People the Irish-Americans, Scottish-Americans, and English-Americans can all feel superior to together.


Fark you, Paddy. Immigration opponents, give it up. If we let the Irish in, there's no excuse keeping anyone else out.
 
2013-01-02 07:04:59 PM  

red5ish: I believe Welsh Bashing is a popular sport in England. Let's sit back and watch, shall we? The English could teach us a thing or two about condescending bigotry. One is never too old to learn.


They're just jealous that they aren't truly British, but are contaminated by Saxon and Frog blog.

As for this fellow from the article, isn't Morgan a Welsh surname?

/I'm an accomplished minor bigot
 
2013-01-02 07:23:02 PM  

Matthew Keene: My ex-wife woke up one morning, and couldn't cook worth a damn.


Shortly after the wedding?
 
2013-01-02 07:34:32 PM  
Jobbers cobknots, ya mucka!
 
2013-01-02 07:38:44 PM  
i.telegraph.co.uk
 
2013-01-02 07:56:00 PM  
Doctor, will I be able to play the piano???
Yes.
Good because I couldnt before!
 
2013-01-02 08:13:43 PM  
1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-01-02 08:31:24 PM  

Strobeguy: Doctor, will I be able to play the piano???
Yes.
Good because I couldnt before!


CSB

When I was 12 I laid open the third and fourth knuckles of my right hand. I got to use that joke while the medic was cleaning and disinfecting the wound. It was very satisfying.
 
2013-01-02 08:32:43 PM  

leonel: How do you think all the Welsh people got to speaking Welsh?


www.redcarpetnewstv.com

/They don't need it!
 
2013-01-02 08:55:46 PM  
There canna be only one...
 
2013-01-02 09:49:45 PM  

HailRobonia: olapbill: I'd like to wake up from a stroke. ifyouknowhatimean.

Well, uh, usually I inject a thing to, uh, paralyze you... but I forgot this time.


I'm telling!
 
2013-01-02 10:09:11 PM  

Norfolking Chance: Stone Meadow: The Third Man: Welshmen I knew who'd lived in England their entire lives referred to themselves as Welshmen. As did their kids, grandkids, greatgrandkids...

Funny that. Over here African-Americans still refer to themselves as African-Americans even after generations of living here and not knowing a single word of the language of their forbearer's languages.

/stirring the pot

Don't forget there are more Irish currently born and raised in America than live in Ireland


Oh, by far. There are also still about 2 million less people there than there were before the famine- population of about 8.2 mil in 1841, 6.5 mil in 1851, 6.4 now.
 
2013-01-02 11:11:20 PM  

Jack Kerouac: red5ish: I believe Welsh Bashing is a popular sport in England. Let's sit back and watch, shall we? The English could teach us a thing or two about condescending bigotry. One is never too old to learn.

They're just jealous that they aren't truly British, but are contaminated by Saxon and Frog blog.

As for this fellow from the article, isn't Morgan a Welsh surname?

/I'm an accomplished minor bigot


Maybe he decided to take his wife's surname, because he had something like Crapper or Cockburn before.
 
2013-01-02 11:13:50 PM  
To Highlander?
 
2013-01-03 12:48:35 AM  
Darold Treffert writes about this in
"Islands of Genius." It's called something like Aquired Savant.
The theory is pretty crazy.

Check this out:

Some people get a head injury, or stroke, or whatever, and suddenly they gain a skill or language they never had before.

Treffert thinks its because some memories are passed on in the DNA, like instincts in animals.
Maybe this is what's behind ideas like reincarnation or past life regression. There's growing evidence for genetic specific memories in animals.

Maybe large things like language or playing a musical instrument, are passed to offspring. The theory is that it is hidden away until the brain is rewired by an accident.

So maybe his ancestors were Welsh. It's a crazy theory but super interesting.
 
2013-01-03 01:09:51 AM  
images.travelpod.com
 
2013-01-03 06:44:02 AM  
Rimmer: Broadcast I all known frequencies and languages... Including Welsh...
 
2013-01-03 07:06:59 AM  

Ivo Shandor: [newsimg.bbc.co.uk image 416x300]


Always a good one.

/for those that haven't seen it before, the bottom half in Welsh says something like "Sorry I am on holiday, please contact my secretary" or the equivalent.
 
2013-01-03 08:01:56 AM  
Came for suspicious Fry, leaving disappointed.
 
2013-01-03 10:00:48 AM  
Welsh is one of those languages that I just can't seem to figure out. I mean, every language is obviously different, but with most languages, if they're using the Latin alphabet, I can at least puzzle my way towards a potential pronunciation. There's some tricks to it, obviously - in French, "oui" is not pronounced "owie" like one might guess, but I've had enough exposure to it over the years to pick up the differences and at least approach the proper pronunciation well enough to read it - well enough to know that Proust's book isn't "alla re-churchy du temps purdue", more like "alla reshursh du tomp pair-due".

But man, frigging Welsh. I don't know what any of those letter combinations sound like. They don't match any possible phonemes I've picked up. "Gyrrwch yn ofalus" ? What the hell does that sound like? "Gur-witch in awful-us"?
 
2013-01-03 10:41:15 AM  

cptjeff: Norfolking Chance: Stone Meadow: The Third Man: Welshmen I knew who'd lived in England their entire lives referred to themselves as Welshmen. As did their kids, grandkids, greatgrandkids...

Funny that. Over here African-Americans still refer to themselves as African-Americans even after generations of living here and not knowing a single word of the language of their forbearer's languages.

/stirring the pot

Don't forget there are more Irish currently born and raised in America than live in Ireland

Oh, by far. There are also still about 2 million less people there than there were before the famine- population of about 8.2 mil in 1841, 6.5 mil in 1851, 6.4 now.


As traditional Irish band I once saw said while doing a show in the US "And this song honors the six great Celtic Nations: Ireland, Scotland, Wales, New York, Boston, and Chicago"
 
mhd
2013-01-03 10:57:18 AM  

phyrkrakr: But man, frigging Welsh. I don't know what any of those letter combinations sound like. They don't match any possible phonemes I've picked up. "Gyrrwch yn ofalus" ? What the hell does that sound like? "Gur-witch in awful-us"?


Now you know how people who learn English feel about words like "through".
 
2013-01-03 11:29:36 AM  

mhd: phyrkrakr: But man, frigging Welsh. I don't know what any of those letter combinations sound like. They don't match any possible phonemes I've picked up. "Gyrrwch yn ofalus" ? What the hell does that sound like? "Gur-witch in awful-us"?

Now you know how people who learn English feel about words like "through".


We Americans have tried our best but the English still insist on things like "draught" instead of "draft".
 
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